For someone just being introduced to Kabbalah, the new terminology can at first be a bit overwhelming, but there is a purpose here. The reason the Kabbalistic terms have been kept is for readers who may wish to pursue further studies. Getting used to the terms now will make future efforts much more fruitful and save you quite a bit of time. Let’s start Lesson 4 with a brief review of what we have learned.
Light initially emanating from the Creator in Phase 0, Keter, is the desire to give delight. This is the root phase of the process of creation. One can think of this phase as potential, similar to the thought of building a house. The house exists as potential in your mind. This Light brings forth the initial substance that will one day be the Creation, namely, the desire to receive delight. The creation of the desire to receive is called Phase 1, Hochma. One can think of it as the building of a Vessel and the filling of that Vessel with pleasure.
After the Vessel is filled with Light, it not only feels pleasure but also feels the attribute of the Giver. That attribute of the Giver is just that, the desire to bestow. Wishing not only to receive but to relate to the Giver as well, the Vessel adopts this attribute. This desire to relentlessly bring delight corresponds to Phase 2, Bina.
The creature has a problem here; it simply has nothing to give. But the creature also realizes that there is a way it can bring the Giver delight if it only accepts a portion of the Light for the sake of the Giver. This realization ushers in Phase 3, Zeir Anpin. Now our creature has two properties: to give and to receive.
What has actually happened here? The creature has actually perceived two kinds of delight. But in this phase, it feels that receiving is better than giving. This was its natural attribute, the initial character it had in Phase 1, Hochma. Next, the creature makes the monumental decision to receive all the Light, to be completely filled. The difference between this new Phase 4, Malchut, and Phase 1, Hochma, is that it made this decision totally on its own. In Phase 1, the Creator controlled everything.
Actually in the first three phases of creation (not counting Phase 0, the root phase), our creature is not really considered a creature. It is more of a creature in potential. Only in the last Phase, called Malchut of the World of Ein Sof, can our creature truly be considered a separate entity from the Creator. The key for this change in status was the creature’s making its own independent decision.
The process of creation has now entered the fourth phase, called Malchut of the World of Ein Sof, the one and only true Creation. It combines the two conditions: it knows in advance what it wishes, and out of the two states, it chooses receiving. What the Creation has actually done is developed a sense of itself. It knows the Creator’s attribute, and now it knows its own.
The difference between Phase 1 and Phase 4 may seem small, but actually it is a fundamental key that will have far-reaching and immense effects from Phase 4 on. The very fact that our creature has made a totally independent decision to accept all the pleasure for itself and is filled completely with the Light causes an incredible feeling of shame to arise. This feeling of shame is actually the feeling of the difference between what the creature feels as its own nature, and the nature of the Creator. Why did this not happen in Phase 1? Because the creature had no independent wish to receive pleasure; it was simply filled by the Giver. It had no way to compare their difference in properties.
This feeling of intense shame leads the creature to again make the decision to become like the Creator. The First Restriction, Tzimtzum Aleph now takes place. It is important to understand that this restriction was not made on the desire to receive pleasure, but on the intent to receive pleasure for self indulgence. In Phase 1, the creature simply stopped receiving. Here, the First Restriction means that the creature can most certainly receive pleasure, but not for its own sake.
The end result is that it can receive pleasure but only up to the point that it can receive for the sake of the Giver. That means its own strength of that intention is what rules whether it will receive or not. If the strength of its intention is weak, it can barely receive any Light at all. Yet if it has a strong intention not to receive for itself, then it can fill itself to just below the point where the intention can no longer be sustained.
We see that the receiving of Light only with the intent to benefit another is the same as bestowal. This is what separates our world from the spiritual world. There, everything is defined by the intention, not by any action. Here it is the exact opposite. It is also important to note that in the spiritual, there are no half measures. The First Restriction means that the creature will never receive delight for itself, period. The First Restriction has become a law and it is impossible to violate it.
The primary task of a created being is to neutralize the wish to receive delight for its own sake. The first created being, the creature in Phase 4 known as Malchut, shows how to receive pleasure from all of the Light of the Creator. But the First Restriction means that everything Malchut is filled with will never be received as delight for its own sake. We shall see how this principle can be further implemented.
You can think of Malchut after the First Restriction as a Vessel with a lid on it. Now that lid is replaced with a screen that pushes away all incoming Light. This first act happens every time, and every bit of the Light is rejected. Inside Malchut, there is a massive desire to receive that Light. In other words, Malchut initially places a screen above its egoism, which pushes away all the incoming Light. Yes, it does succeed in pushing away all the delight and does not luxuriate in it.
But there is still a problem here. The Kli (Vessel) is separated from the Light. So how can a situation be achieved where the delight is not simply pushed away, but some portion of it is received for the sake of the Creator? For this to take place, the Light reflected by the screen (Ohr Hozer) must somehow clothe the Direct Light (Ohr Yashar) and together they will enter the Kli, the desire to receive. One can think of the screen as a type of valve, opening only under a certain condition. In our case, that condition is to accept the Light only to bring pleasure to the Creator.
Ohr Hozer serves as the anti-egoistic condition, a screen that accepts and allows in the Ohr Yashar, the delight, but only if it is receiving for the sake of the Creator. Ohr Hozer acts as an altruistic intention. Before taking in these two kinds of Light, a calculation is carried out in the Rosh, the calculating part of the soul. How much Light may be received for the Creator’s sake? This quantity passes in the Toch.
The first Partzuf may receive, for example, 20% of the Light, according to the power of its screen. This Light is called Inner Light – Ohr Pnimi. The portion of Light that did not enter the Kli remains outside and is therefore called the Surrounding Light, Ohr Makif. The initial receiving of 20% of the Light is called Partzuf Galgalta.
Following the pressure of the two Lights, Ohr Makif and Ohr Pnimi on the Screen in the Tabur, the Partzuf expels all the Light. The screen then moves gradually up from Tabur to Peh, losing its anti-egoistic power and reaching the level of the screen in the Peh de Rosh.
It is very important to remember that nothing disappears in the spiritual world; each consecutive action encompasses the previous one. Thus, the 20% of Light received from Peh to Tabur remains in the previous state of the Partzuf.
Afterwards, seeing that it is not able to manage the 20% of Light, the Partzuf makes a decision to take the Light in again. This time it does not take in 20% of the Light, but only 15%. For this purpose, it has to lower its screen from the level of Peh to the level of Chazeh of the Partzuf Galgalta, thus moving down to a lower spiritual level.
If at the beginning its level was defined by the Reshimot: Hitlabshut of level 4 and Aviut of level 4, now it is only 4 and 3 respectively. The Light enters the same way and forms a new Partzuf: AB. The destiny of the new Partzuf is the same; it also pushes the Light away. Following on this occurrence, the third Partzuf, SAG, spreads out, and after it, MA and BON.
All five Partzufim fill Galgalta from its Peh to its Tabur. The world which they form is called Adam Kadmon. Galgalta is similar to Phase 0, Keter, since while receiving from the Creator it gives whatever it can. AB receives a smaller portion for the sake of the Creator, and is called Hochma, Phase 1. SAG works only for bestowal and is called Bina, Phase 2. MA is similar to Zeir Anpin, Phase 3, and BON corresponds to Malchut, Phase 4.
SAG, having the properties of Bina (only wanting to bestow), is able to spread under the Tabur and fill the lower part of Galgalta with Light of Hassadim. Thus, below the Tabur, with the exception of empty desires, remain the delights induced by similarity with the Creator.
All this happens because the NHY (Sefirot: Netzah Hod Yesod) part of Galgalta below the Tabur refused to take in the Light of Hochma. Remember that this is the Light of Reception. They enjoy the Light of Hassadim, the delight of similarity with the Creator, bestowing.
The sub-Partzuf Nekudot de SAG has Aviut Bet, and may enjoy from the bestowal of the Light only on this level. The NHY can no longer resist the delight of the level Dalet; otherwise they will begin to receive the Light for their own sakes.
The NHY should normally be able to receive, but Malchut, at the very bottom of Galgalta (Sium in Hebrew), rises to the middle of Tifferet of Partzuf Nekudot de SAG and forms a new Sium (Conclusion). This is the restriction of the Light, called Parsa, below which the Light cannot go. With this action Malchut makes the Second Restriction on the spreading of the Light, called Tzimtzum Bet by analogy with the first one.
To take an example from our everyday life: imagine a person with pleasant manners and good upbringing who would never steal up to the sum of $1000. However, if $10,000 were laid before that person, his or her education might not “work” because in this case, the temptation, the prospective delight, is too powerful to be resisted.
Tzimtzum Bet is the continuation of Tzimtzum Aleph, but on the Vessels of receiving, the Kelim de Kabbalah. These are the Vessels below Tabur with the desire of the strongest level – level 4. It is interesting to note that in the Partzuf Nekudot de SAG, the Partzuf, which is altruistic by nature, has disclosed its selfish properties; immediately Malchut, ascending upward, covers it and forms a line, called Parsa, to limit the downward spreading of the Light.
The Rosh of Partzuf SAG, as every Head, consists of five Sefirot: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut. These in turn are divided into the Kelim de Hashpa’a (Vessels of bestowal— Keter, Hochma and half of Bina) and Kelim de Kabbalah (Vessels of reception—from the middle of Bina to Malchut).
Kelim de Hashpa’a (Vessels of bestowal) are also called Galgalta ve Eynaim (GE). The Kelim de Kabbalah (Vessels of reception) are the Awzen, Hotem, and Peh: AHP (pronounced ahhap). The restriction of Tzimtzum Bet means that from this point on, a Partzuf must not activate any of the Vessels of receiving. It is prohibited to use the AHP; so decided Malchut, when it rose to the middle of Tifferet.
After Tzimtzum Bet, all the Reshimot move up to the Rosh of SAG, there requesting to form a Partzuf exclusively on the level of the Vessels of bestowal. This allows the Partzuf to receive some Light from contact with the Creator.
It now means that the screen must be located not in Peh of the Rosh, but in Nikvey Eynaim of the Rosh, that part which corresponds to the line of Parsa in the middle of Tifferet in the Guf. Each part of the Partzuf, the Rosh, Toch and Sof has five levels of Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin and Malchut. The Nikvey Eynaim, which is the middle of Tifferet in the Rosh, corresponds to the Middle of Tifferet in the Guf. Remember Gar de Bina and Zat de Bina?
After a Zivug (coupling) in Rosh of SAG, a Partzuf will emerge from this point and will spread below the Tabur and down to the Parsa, that place Malchut rose to in the Second Restriction. The new Partzuf, which spreads below the Tabur to Parsa, clothes the previous Partzuf of Nekudot de SAG, but on its upper part only, Gar de Bina, meaning on altruistic Kelim, the Vessels of bestowal.
The name of the new Partzuf is Katnut of Olam Nekudim (Smallness of the World of Nekudim). This Partzuf appears on the level of the restricted Reshimot of Bet-Aleph (2,1). In fact, in the five worlds previously mentioned (Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira and Assiya), such a world does not exist.
During the existence of this world, the Sefirot Keter, Hochma, Bina, Hesed, Gevura and the one third of Tifferet (the upper third) are divided into ten and have the usual names. In addition, there are special names for the Sefirot Hochma and Bina: Abba ve Ima (Father and Mother) and also, the Sefirot Zeir Anpin and Malchut: Zeir Anpin and Nukva (Female). When speaking of Zeir Anpin and Nukva together, they are called ZON. These additional names designate that these parts are from the world of Nekudim.
Following the Zivug de Hakaa in the Nikvey Eynaim in Rosh of SAG, upon the request of the Reshimot of the lower Partzuf, SAG performs a second Zivug on the Reshimot of Gadlut (Greatness) in the Peh de Rosh. In other words, SAG performs a Zivug on the level 4 of desire, the strongest level.
What has actually happened here? Remember that Zivug is a coupling of Reshimo. The Nikvey Eynaim is the dividing line between the section of pure bestowal and the section of Vessels that will receive but only in order to bestow in the Rosh. So the first thing that happens is a Zivug in what is called Katnut – only on Vessels of bestowal. The second Zivug is on greatness, or on all of the Vessels in the Rosh, both to bestow and Vessels that will receive in order to bestow.
As this second a Zivug takes place, a great Light begins to spread out from SAG and tries to descend below the Parsa where the massive desires are. Partzuf Nekudim is absolutely certain that it will be able to receive the Light for the sake of the Creator, and that it has enough power for this, notwithstanding the Tzimtzum Bet. But the moment the Light touches the Parsa, the Shevirat ha Kelim (breaking of the Vessels) occurs, because it becomes clear that the Partzuf wants to receive delight only for itself. Light immediately exits the Partzuf and all the Vessels, even those above the Parsa, are shattered.
So from the desire of the Partzuf to use the Vessels of reception for the Creator’s sake, to form the World of Nekudim in Gadlut, using all ten Kelim, a shattering of all its screen-intentions occurred. In the Guf of the Partzuf Nekudim, i.e. in ZON above the Parsa (Hesed, Gevura, Tifferet) and below the Parsa (Netzah, Hod, Yesod and Malchut) there are eight Sefirot. Each of these consists of four phases (apart from Phase 0). These, in turn, bear ten Sefirot, yielding a total of 320 Vessels (4 x 8 x 10), which have been broken.
Of the 320 broken Vessels, only Malchut cannot be corrected and this represents 32 parts (4 x 8). The remaining 288 parts (320 32) can be corrected. The 32 parts are called Lev ha Even (lit. Heart of Stone). These will only be corrected by the Creator Himself at the time of Gmar Tikkun (End of Correction).
The altruistic and selfish desires have simultaneously broken apart and intermingled. As a result, every element of the broken Vessels consists of 288 parts that are fit for correction, and 32 that are not. Now the achievement of the goal of creation only depends on the correction of the broken World of Nekudim. If we succeed in our required task, Phase Dalet will be filled with the Light. Olam ha Tikkun (World of Correction) is created to build a coherent system, which will then correct the Kelim of the World of Nekudim.
This new world is also called World of Emanation, in Hebrew Olam Atzilut.